It's official: Coinstar coffee kiosks are coming to market. It's not exactly news, considering the company previously discussed the business venture with us and a few other publications, but its partnership with Seattle's Best Coffee is now official and comes with a name — Rubi — that Coinstar hopes will soon be as familiar as its No. 1 business, Redbox. Rubi coffee kiosks are already deployed in about 50 grocery, drug and mass merchant retail locations; that number will hit about 500 before the year ends, with thousands planned for the future, said Paul Davis, chief executive officer of Coinstar Inc.
"Just as our Redbox movie rental and Coinstar coin-counting kiosks reimagined retail, we believe our coffee kiosk reimagines the coffee experience for consumers," he said. "In addition, we are very pleased to work with Seattle's Best Coffee, one of the country's premier coffee brands. Together, we will deliver the kind of quality, convenience and value that we know coffee drinkers on the go will appreciate."
The Rubi kiosk grinds and brews fresh whole beans in a single-cup process on demand and around the clock, serving brewed coffee and specialty drinks, including mochas and vanilla lattes with price points starting at $1. It occupies about 9 square feet and provides increased foot traffic and a turnkey solution for retailers, creating operational efficiencies, said Jim McDermet, senior vice president and general manager of Seattle's Best Coffee.
"This relationship is a logical next step in our strategy to bring great coffee to new and unexpected locations where it's traditionally been hard to find great coffee," McDermet said.
In surveys conducted among consumers who used the Rubi coffee kiosk during the pilot study, 90 percent said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the experience, and 60 percent said they would recommend the Rubi coffee kiosk to a friend or colleague.
Read more about vending kiosks.